Revell 1/72 Arado Ar-240C-2 Night Fighter

KIT #: 4824
DECALS: Two options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: 1996 boxing


The Ar-240 was a response to a request for a heavy fighter to replace the Bf-110. The other entry, the Me-210 won the contract. In May 1939, the RLM ordered a batch of six prototypes. The first Ar 240 V1prototype, DD+QL, took to the air on 25 June 1940, and immediately proved to have poor handling in all axes, also tending to overheat during taxiing.

The handling was thought to be the result of the ailerons being too small, given the thick wing, so the second prototype was modified to have larger ones, as well as additional vertical fin area on the dive brakes to reduce yaw. In addition, small radiators were added to the landing gear legs to improve cooling at low speeds, when the gear would normally be opened. Ar 240 V2, KK+CD, first flew on 6 April 1941, and spent most of its life at the factory in an experimental role.

Ar 240 V3 followed, the first to be equipped with the FA 9 rear-firing armament system, developed jointly by Arado and DVL, armed with a 7.92 mm (.312 in) MG 81Z machine gun. Ar 240 V4 was the first to include an operational dive brake, and flew on 19 June 1941. Ar 240 V5 and the V6 followed in December and January, including the upgraded FA 13 system, using two 13 mm (.51 in) MG 131 machine guns in place of the MG 81Z for a considerable boost in firepower.

The Ar 240's excellent performance quickly led to the V3, V5 and V6 being stripped of their armament, including the defensive guns, and used as reconnaissance aircraft over England, where no other two-seater could venture by 1942.

According to the kit instructions, the tenth prototype was modified into the night fighter variant in 1943 and tested. The later Ar-440 had four examples built, the first one being converted from one of the Ar-240 prototypes.

This kit was developed in 1996 and is an update of the original 1994 kit of the prototypes. At this time , the modeling world was deep in the throes of 'luft 46. That justified the cost of tooling for this variation, but I think this and the origianl boxing were it. I do know that this kit can easily be found even 20 plus years after release so apparently it was not that great a seller. The night fighter does away with the ducted spinners, adds the radar gear, includes a lower fuselage gun pack, provides four blad props has longer outer wings and it looks like the rear fuselage is a bit longer as well.  Enough bits to provide most of a new sprue. I've shown that old sprue layout on the left and on the right, the new sprue still in the bag as I didn't want to open the bag. Some of the salient bits not too easily seen have been circled

The kit has a separate forward fuselage along with a wing that is divided into two section for each side with the inner section including the nacelle and an outer wing. The tail planes are single pieces with the fins slotting into the outer portions of the horizontal stab.

The cockpit is fairly well appointed for the scale with two seats a control and rear machine gun fitting onto the floor. This is inserted into the forward fuselage half along with the instrument panel. There is a decal for this panel and there is detailing on the inside of the fuselage halves. The rear 'gun' is basically a sight with trigger for the upper and lower fuselage defensive armament. This fits into the fuselage halves along with the little 'periscope' sighting equipment. The clear bits are then attached and the forward fuselage is then glued to the rear fuselage halves. I'm not sure if it would be easier to glue the front and rear fuselage sections together prior to joining the halves, but it is a viable option.

Once the wing/upper nacelle pieces are joined and attached to the fuselage, the instructions would have you then build up the nacelles. Depending on how well these fit, it might be useful to wait to attach the wings until after the nacelles are done. Test fitting the wing assembly before attaching the nacelles will determine this. The engine exhaust fit from the outside so can be installed after the airframe is painted.

The kit does provide an open or closed gear door option and if you wish it to be open, you need to cut the doors. Landing gear is well formed and can also be fit into the gear wells after painting. There is credible main gear well detailing provided.

Instructions are identical to the RoG offering except that they add in the two steps for the antenna and the gun pack. Colors in generic and ProModeler paints (which I've never seen). The scheme is standard night fighter stuff of the mid-late war in terms of an overall lighter grey upper with lots of mottles and a black undersurface. Decals are nicely printed and the instructions warn not to use any setting solutions on them. They are for the single aircraft. Again, no swastika even though this is a Revell USA boxing.

Like the earlier aircraft kit previewed, it is a nice looking plane and is something that is different from the norm of the average Luftwaffe builder. Worth the time and effort I'd say.


September 2018

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Thanks to me for buying this one to show you.

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